I previously wrote about sticking to the same formula of a 4 paragraph structure. Once you practice this approach, it will be very easy to plan and organize your essay when you’ve only got 40 minutes.
For the agree/disagree essay, I think it’s probably easiest to just completely agree or completely disagree because you just need to have 2 reasons to support why.
Remember, the examiner is marking you on how you express, organize and support your ideas. They aren’t judging you on your opinion. As long as it’s logical and cohesive (your argument is supported and your ideas stick together) and written clearly, you will get a higher mark.
You can follow this 4-paragraph structure:
- Introduction- introduce topic and give your clear answer to the task question (I fully agree or disagree with the claim)
- Main Reason #1 why you agree or disagree - give examples and supporting details
- Main Reason #2 why you agree or disagree - give examples and supporting details
- Conclusion - restate your opinion (this is a very short paragraph – probably 1 to 2 sentences)
Here’s an example:
Many children these days have an unhealthy lifestyle. Both schools and parents are equally responsible for solving this problem.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
My outline of ideas for my essay (not fully written out):
1. Introduction – Write a sentence about the topic, paraphrase the claim and give my opinion – I completely disagree. I think only parents are fully responsible for solving this problem.
2. Main Reason #1
I believe parents are fully responsible for solving this problem.
- main caregiver and spend the most time with their kids
- should be the primary role model of living a healthy lifestyle
- most effective because parents provide child’s food/meals and guidelines for child’s free time and activities
3. Main Reason #2
Schools should not be responsible for solving this problem.
- Schools should focus on academics – reading/writing/maths and science
- Teachers have a relatively small amount of time with each child – they have to worry about a classroom full of 30+ children
- least effective because they don’t provide for the child’s regular diet
4. Conclusion – restate my opinion that I completely disagree and believe that only parents, rather than parents and schools equally, are responsible for changing children’s unhealthy lifestyles.
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